Kent State wrestling ranks fourth in preseason poll

Richie Mulhall

The Kent State wrestling team ranked fourth out of nine teams in the Mid-American Conference wrestling coaches 2014-2015 preseason weight class individual rankings, the league announced Thursday.

Along with the overall team rankings, the Flashes, with 13.5 points, also have six different wrestlers earning Top 4 rankings in their respective weight classes, including a pair of No. 1 spots led by junior 157-pounder Ian Miller and junior 133-pounder Mack McGuire, according to Below are the wrestlers and weight classes in which Kent State is currently ranked:

2014-15 MAC Preseason Poll

1. Missouri (27.0)

2. Old Dominion (18.0)

3. Northern Iowa (15.5)

4. Kent State (13.5)

5. Ohio (12.0)

6. Central Michigan (6.0)

7. Northern Illinois (4.0)

8. Eastern Michigan (3.0)

9. Buffalo (0.0)

133 pounds

McGuire, a two-time NCCA qualifier, tied for the No. 1 MAC spot at 133 pounds with Northern Iowa’s Levi Wolfensperger. McGuire finished third in the MAC Championships held in the M.A.C. Center last March, and his 27-15 record was one of the best records on the team, second only to Miller.

141 pounds

Fifth-year senior Tyler Small, who, according to, will sit out from varsity action this fall semester, claimed a No. 4 spot at 141 pounds. Small, also a two-time NCAA qualifier, will look to repeat some of his successes from his younger years at Kent State. As a redshirt freshman three years ago, Small won the 141-pound MAC title and earned an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Championships, in which he went 2-2.

149 pounds

At 149 pounds, junior Mike DePalma, who transferred to Kent State from Edinboro University, earned a No. 3 ranking. Last season, DePalma placed third at the MAC Championships, qualified for the national tournament and went 2-2 at the NCAA Championships.

157 pounds

Miller, who placed fourth last spring in the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, compiled a team-leading 36 wins last year and posted a 4-1 record in the MAC.

A few weeks ago, Miller became the second Kent State wrestler in program history to receive an invitation to compete in the 2014 NWCA All-Star Classic at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which will take place Nov. 1.

174 pounds

Like DePalma, fifth-year senior Caleb Marsh raked in a No. 3 ranking from the MAC coaches. Although Marsh notched a pair of MAC Wrestler of the Week accolades and punched his ticket to the national tournament at the end of the season, last season’s record of 18-13 was down from the previous year in which Marsh finished 23-12 as a junior and placed third at the MAC Championships with a record of 3-1.

285 pounds

In the Flashes’ heavyweight division, sophomore Mimmo Lytle also nabbed a No. 4 ranking for the 2014-2015 collegiate wrestling season. Two seasons ago, Lytle finished 19-12 as a true freshman. He, like Marsh, will look for better results this season wrestling in the No. 4 spot, as he only went 15-23 last season.

At a glance

Although the 2014-2015 wrestling season does not get under way until a month from now, the wrestling team will hold its first official practice Friday, Oct. 10, and will conduct its second annual outdoor practice on Risman Plaza Wednesday, Oct. 15. 

Kent State opens competition Nov. 8 at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational in Brockport, New York.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].